The illustration of the dragnet

Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age.
The illustration in which fish are sorted into those that are good and those that are bad, serves the same purpose as the illustration of the wheat and the weeds - particularly the aspect of letting them both grow together until the harvest. When that time came it would be easier to differentiate between the wheat and the weeds - the good fish and the bad.

Same message, different audience.

Apparently this particular version of the illustration was netted during a public discourse Jesus gave at the Seaman's Mission in Bethsaida, a fishing village on the banks of the Sea of Galilee. It was logged by the enigmatic "Q" (humourously played by John de Lancie, moving uneasily among the crowd in a thick knit jumper and false beard.)

It was a decidedly motley crew Jesus was confronted with, but he sailed boldly on nevertheless. When he gave the illustration of the wheat and the weeds he was met by more than a sea of blank faces. There was an audible wave of disapproval. Some say they heard the word "keelhaul", but it only turned out to be one of the old-timers choking on a piece of whitefish bagel.

With admirable resilience, and an uncanny ability to calm a storm, Jesus altered course. He dived into his storehouse of "new treasures as well as old" (Matthew 13:52), and hooked out this whopper. The same illustration...but with fish!

It was met with rapturous applause - a standing ovation - nay, a twenty-one gun salute!

It is quite possible that this occasion was also the source of the "fisher's of men" quote, but this is unconfirmed. It is definitely not where he is reported as saying "you are the salt of the earth". This under-appreciated pearl was delivered in an anonymous village off the coast of the Dead Sea. It was part of an ill-advised double-whammy, along with "Remember the wife of Lot". Both of these could have quietly sunk without trace. And with that, I believe I have drained my barrel of maritime clich├ęs dry.